Blog 17 The Circus is in Town!

Bog 17 The Circus is in Town!

Monday night at circus was the night of the Queen’s birthday public holiday and I for one was completely stuffed after a very big weekend.

Pete decided that I should work on my acrobatic phobia which I thought might be nice if it was a voluntary thing. However after absolutely no support from my colleagues I completed one exercise that kept him happy for the time being.

Alessandro and Nick kept us entertained during our horse stances with a variety of dance moves they knew. Laura and I found this bordering on the educational.

Rosalie Decharme finished off her three days of workshops and people deservedly raved about her teaching.

Our static trapeze is now so high we have to climb up to get to it and I spent every day since the Saturday workshop looking forward to using it for trapeze practise. Like a kid who has not paced herself by the time I got to the trapeze part of the night I was stuffed and couldn’t do anything. I was so disappointed and I thought suck it up, the trapeze is permanent it will be here next week and then that trapeze and I have a date with the forceout move, some tempo work and some no arm stuff that Rosalie showed us that I really wanted to try.

A rather nice side benefit of belonging to a local circus is that the big circuses sometimes give us tickets to go and watch them. So I rocked up to training last Thursday night and was told Trishy you can go to the ball or in this case the circus. A big group of Zigzaggers got to go and see Totem and it was brilliant.

I loved everything about Totem. Tiny women on ridiculously tall unicycles balancing and catching metal bowls on their heads. One of these woman threw the bowls without even looking where she was throwing them and the catchers were just in the right spot it was amazing. There were men throwing themselves around this climbing frame at a breath taking speed. A roller skating sequence that I couldn’t believe. A beautiful trapeze act and don’t forget the juggler oh and of course the ring girl. There were heaps of other brilliant acts too it’s a great show. I keep trying to practise a handstand with my legs in a stag position because it’s just so darn pretty.

It was great to sit with circus people at Totem and listen to them comment about the acts. I got an insight into the performances that I wouldn’t have had without them. The performances themselves were just so spectacular. I was like where are the mats? Where are the spotters? I wanted to get up and do the spotting myself. I also now need a mirror suit all because of Totem.

Thursday night training was a heap of fun. I was keen to bust out some moves from Totem and I got to harangue Alessandro with questions like, “how did they do that?” That question specifically was because of the juggler they had and I was given a physics lesson and learned about centrifugal force. If that is how he did it then so be it but it looked like magic to me. It’s a great act.

Alli gave Amanda and I a lesson on the bars which was very kind of her. Alli is fantastic on the bars and just a little bit fearless which is Trish speak for  completely fearless. It was really interesting to see someone you think you know in a whole new element and you see them totally differently. I watched her as she did this amazing one bar to the next move and I thought wow! If I could do that I would have the fattest head in the world and you meet Alli and she’s lovely and unassuming, it was a revelationary night.

I learned something new on the rings too Thursday night. The Totem ring girl was made of muscle. Some people didn’t like it but I really did so when I was getting a little tired on the rings I kept thinking about the amazing things that girl was doing in the show and I kept going. I want to grow up to be just like her.

Anyhoo she did this skin the cat where she went all the way round. Now when I do the skin the cat exercise I always go around as far as I can and then get back again. Alessandro or Nick are always saying go further go further and I think if I do my arms will twist off. The Totem girl did it so I thought mm. I asked Alessandro Thursday night can I see how far I can go and what happens. Sure he says. So I do it and I go further than normal and then I just drop at the end and my arms don’t snap off and I’ve had this uber uber stretch and I can work on coming back from that far. I felt like I’d made a major jump ahead on my rings work. Thanks Totem girl. I looked her up by the way her name is Alevtyna Titarenko and she’s amazing.

Allrighty that’s it for this week I’ll finish off with the pictures and please come and join us if you’d like to. Zig Zag Circus has classes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at Glenelg and in the city.



Rosalie’s workshop, Rosalie is a brilliant teacher and a very funny person.


Air Mermaid


Our circus going to the circus.


Beautiful Bianca


Nick doing the Crucifix.


Bog 16 What a Week it Was!

Well what a week it was at Zig Zag circus. Monday night I got my elbow to toe stretch and Lily did a very nice one legged  squat and I can’t remember now if she did the dragon squat or the shrimp squat. Both are extremely difficult so it was pretty impressive whichever one she did.

I’m working on getting my shoulder to touch the ground from the squat position. I reckon if I could just get someone to sit on my back without breaking me I’d have it. Until then I shall whittle away at it each week.

We did our handstands and cartwheels from a tilting forward position and it gives you a lot more momentum in your handstand. It’s like it’s easier to get where you want to be.

I had a go at doing birds nest on the ropes for trapeze and I was really surprised that I can hold my own weight up there to do it. That was cool. I was shown my first drop and I managed to completely stuff it up but it was pretty cool to try and I’ll look forward to doing that again. It’s a funny mind shift because most of the time I’m hanging on to the trapeze as much as humanly possible. To deliberately let go and drop is a little freaky.

Thursday night I got to watch Kurt and Natalie practise their routine for the showcase and it was just beautiful. It was almost relaxing to watch them, they were graceful and strong and elegant. I also felt privileged that I could watch their practise. That shows the environment we have at ZigZag.  People are comfortable sharing knowledge, asking for help and showing people stuff before they’re a hundred percent finished with it. I think that is one of my favourite things about training with this group. I also got to do some work on the rings Thursday night and I love the rings.

On Saturday night a few of us did a workshop with Rosalie Decharme which was just brilliant. Rosalie has performed with Cirque Soleil and now helps them with training. That woman is so talented and such a good teacher and that’s the balance you want. The most talented person in the world is of a limited benefit if they can’t convey to you how they got there. It was also great fun and let me say that one more time, great fun, to see two of our trainers get trained. Rosalie was directing them to “kick more”, and to “stop that trapeze swinging quicker”. Mmm I thought do you guys remember the world of the student? Especially as she was heaps harder on the trainers  than the rest of us. I did this tiny little thing, great work Rosalie says just work on this bit a bit more. Our poor trainers get up there, they just about do a Cirque Soleil performance and Rosalie is all, is that the best you got?

I hope I don’t come across as too shallow here but Rosalie has the most beautiful lats I have ever seen, they were awesome. When her arms were down you would have no idea the moment she grabbed the trapeze wow!

We learned some cool things and some practical things in that workshop and I’m very glad I went. I plan to try them out in our next Monday training session. ZigZag put up two more trapezes for the workshop and they were higher than I am used to. I had to learn how to climb a silk to get up there the only other way was using a Nick elevator which was a bit of a rush as he propels you upward and you’re thinking whatever you do grab the bar. I had a lot of fun being so much higher than we normally are, it’s like perching up there and looking at the world down below. Maybe I was a bird in a previous life? Until trapeze if I compared myself to an animal I would pick the Clydesdale I don’t feel like that on the trapeze.

And now drum roll please as I present our photos for this week. You need to go onto the ZigZag page to see all of the videos they’re well worth a look.


Chris being awesome at aerials.


Beautiful acrobatics.


Alli took my picture and Liam called me a beast, both of these things made me very happy.


Elbow to toe – Woo Hoo

Allrighty that’s it for this week. Please come and join us if you’d like to. Zig Zag Circus has classes Monday Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday at Glenelg and in the city. They also run, from time to time, some very cool workshops.

Blog 11 Safety

We had a big turn out Monday night, the cold is definitely not putting people off from training. Silks, acrobats and general circus class all looked like they were out in full force.

We weren’t able to use our regular room for handstand practise so Alessandro was pretty quick about coming up with an alternative activity, I found that impressive. When one of my lessons gets stuffed up at school I find it a real ordeal coming up with an alternative activity on a moment’s notice. We ended up doing handstands in the middle of the floor and we did 15 seconds on then swap partners. We did that maybe four times each and I really enjoyed that.

We actually jumped through hoops for tumbling, I’ve never done that literally before. We started with a new thing that Alessandro called Monkey jumps. I had a go but I figured that must be for the more advanced folk and left it at that. Then Alessandro appears with a hoop and full grown adults are jumping through this hoop. I tell you if you ever don’t want to train there’s so much to see it’s like coming to a show. I could have watched them forever. Then Alessandro said come and have a go and I did not see how my body was going to fit through a hoop. However you put your hands in one spot and your feet in another and all of a sudden you’ve jumped through a hoop. It was pretty cool really. Maybe we should light it on fire for the next go?

I felt like I was moving forward in trapeze which was lovely so I’m now working on holding Nick for ten seconds but I mucked something up which was not good when you’re working with a partner. I confused the difference between getting down from a move and getting off the trapeze all together and poor Nick had to rely on his reflexes not to fall off. That’s the kind of mistake I’m only going to make once but it’s an awful feeling to think you may have caused your training partner to get hurt.

Alessandro, Lily, Grant, Peter and I did some work on the rings and I really enjoyed that.

On Thursday night we did animal walks instead of stretches and they were murder. I’ve decided that I am co-ordinationally challenged. There should be a support group for my condition, I may even start that support group. We had to do a bear walk with opposite arms and legs and there was no way I could do it. It just wouldn’t work I felt like I was trying to retrain my brain and it was fighting me. Even when I went as slow as possible and was chanting this hand this foot now repeat I still couldn’t get it. I’m practising that one with the kids at school.

Do you know the only problem with circus training is that it does not go on for long enough. There is so much to do and so little time to do everything in. You never get bored but you do run out of time every night.

Only a few photos this week  and please come and join us if you’d like to. Zig Zag circus has classes Monday Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday at Glenelg and in the city.




Blog 10 It’s Getting a Little Chilly

I’ve always thought it would be very cool to go to Russia and train in circus over there. Now that these autumn nights are getting colder I wonder how the heck do people in colder climates train? You would have to rug up like arctic bears just to get to training and then how the heck do you ever get warm enough before you work on your act? I’m finding it hard enough to come out of an evening in an Adelaide autumn. I am in awe of circus folk who train in colder conditions than what we have here at the moment. In awe!

I kind of see one of the girls at Circus as my partner in crime. If there’s mischief to be had I can kind of count on this girl to be a part of it.  I think this is because she has an almost permanent I’m up for just about anything going attitude I really do like it.

She landed me in it Monday night though and I told her this is going in the blog so here goes.  I had her as my partner and Alessandro wanted us to do an exercise that  I hadn’t tried before and couldn’t even imagine myself doing. My partner announced that she had an injury and couldn’t do it. Score for Trishy I thought because I need to keep her company right? I can’t just go off doing crazy exercises without my partner so I settled myself in beside her feeling like a dutiful friend and congratulating myself on an honourable escape from a tricky exercise. Alessandro rocks up, looks at me, I’m sorry my partner is injured. Oh that’s ok Trish you go on without me she says. Yep that’s what she said. She may as well have pushed me into piranha infested water, thanks Hon, I appreciated that one.

It must have been challenge night Monday night and no-one told me because our horse stance got bumped up to two minutes and now I’m doing it seven steps out, booyah! We have a saying with some of these exercises hold it until the shakes arrive. That’s not the exact expression but I’m not sure that the exact expression is politically correct so I’m going to stay with this version. I didn’t do two minutes but I wasn’t too far off of it so I can have fun working on that one.

The challenges kept coming this night. The handstand part of the night got bumped up a notch, we were leaving the wall. Long ago we used to do our handstands just in the middle of the room and have a person to spot but for a long time now we’ve been doing them against the wall. Now tonight, no prep, no announcement just get on with it, handstand middle of the floor, use your partner as a spot. Do you know I was scared stiff but I really want my handstand so I thought I’ll chance landing flat on my face for a go at this. So I did it and it was ok it felt really good actually so I’m hoping this will be a regular thing.

The acrobats were doing a very cool thing tonight. There were three of them, Alex was the base, one of them called ‘ Up’ and Laura jumped and balanced on Peter who jumped at the same time and balanced on Alex. I watched it and I was amazed.

The Crucifix move in trapeze is really turning out to be my cross to bear. I can’t even imagine myself being able to do it and my lovely trainer keeps coming back to it. I thought I had outfoxed him Monday night. I said I can’t do the Crucifix it upsets my spiritual beliefs. It doesn’t but I’m getting desperate for finding ways out of doing that thing. He barely blinked,  no probs we’ll call it the iron cross and wallah the Crucifix by another name is back on the trapeze table, oh joy.

I managed to base Nick again tonight and that was so cool, it means last week wasn’t a fluke. Now we’re talking about me basing Nick in the showcase and him doing a trick while I’m doing the basing. Goodness that would be nice.

We also started to work on a one arm hang. Now there was a time when I would have thought don’t even bother it’s not physically possible for me but I never thought I’d juggle I’m juggling. I never thought I’d be able to perform in public I’ve done that, I certainly never thought I’d be able to breathe fire and I did that too so even if the one arm hang looks impossible I don’t actually know what’s possible and what’s not anymore.

Nick has shown me this roll around trick that I have wanted to do since I saw it on you tube and Monday night he also showed me this grab the ropes, hold yourself up and pedal in the air trick and I’ve wanted to do that since I saw him do it in the last showcase. Mine isn’t very pretty yet but with a little polish it will get there. It was a great night for trapeze.

When I started running I wanted to do marathons and I never even told anyone because it seemed too far out of my reach. Now I’ve run four marathons and an ultramarathon and this makes me think there is no limit to what you can do until you actually try it and see. So Nick has this speccy trick which is like doing a marathon in running, in my eyes anyway. At the moment it seems far out of my reach but I can actually see myself doing it someday and hopefully living at the end of it. The trick is him flying off the trapeze bar and landing on his feet arms in the air to finish his act and I love that move. I love it, I want it, I covet it, if I can just side step past the Crucifix to get to it I would be very happy. So one of these days I’m going to do that move.

Now on a equally important track Amanda brought cake or baked custard to training to share with her chums and it would have put Balfour’s out of business if she sold it. Amanda has a real talent for baking and I have a real talent for eating. We were always destined to be friends.

Circus was brutal Thursday night. For some reason I got it into my head to call challenge night and Alli took me up on the challenge. This meant that any exercise you got you tried to make it harder. You could hold the position for longer or do more repetitions. So my arms pretty much stopped working by the end of the evening and I nearly had to stop the car on the way home and have a nap I was so tired. It was cool though going as hard as you can go and then just tweek it that little bit further. I’m sure my arms will stop screaming in pain any minute now I am finding typing a challenge this morning.

I discovered a lump in my arm while hanging Thursday night and freaked out until Alessandro said it was a muscle. Who knew? What important piece of information did I get out of this exchange? I’m getting muscles!!!!!! I’m a bit happy about that I’ve always been a bit of a pune.

You may find this an impossible concept to grasp but I have been known to dodge the occasional exercise. My absolute least fave is the backward roll so if tumbling gets busy and that exercise gets pushed to the side I’m certainly not complaining. Tumbling got busy and nobody did the backward roll and I thought quick quick move on to the next move but I paused and Alessandro looked up from where he was helping someone else and says have you guys done the backward roll? I tell you it was uncanny. There is no way he could have watched us and the student he had in front of him. I just don’t know how he does it. I might add we all ended up doing the backward roll.

Mel very kindly produced a picture to show Kenneth’s heel hang from last week so here it is. If I was Kenneth I’d be framing this.


I also found this speccy one of Kenneth on Iconosquare and I want to share it.


I also have a beautiful shot of Mel doing her thing.


Natalie looks like she’s flying in this shot


And then we have one from those crazy acrobats.


A little bit of lyra. Remember all this is available with Zig Zag Circus, we’re on facebook.


OK thank you for reading please come and join us if you’d like to, you’ll have a lot of fun.